Fit notes used to be called Doctors Sick Notes. A fit note is a politician written statement from a doctor giving their medical opinion on a person’s fitness for work.
They might also make recommendations for a way the employer could support the worker.
Whether you would like a fit note depends on the length of sickness absence.
Off sick for 7 days or less
If someone is absent thanks to sickness for 7 calendar days or less (including weekends), they do not need a fit note.
This means they tell their employer they’re not tolerably to figure and don’t get to provide any longer medical evidence.
This is called ‘self-certifying’ their sick leave. They should still be paid the quantity of wage that’s in their contract.
Off sick for more than 7 days
If someone features a period of sickness absence for extended than 7 calendar days (no matter what percentage days they work each week), then they ought to get a fit note from their doctor.
How to count sick days
When you compute the amount of days that you’ve got been sick, you would like to count all the times during a row you have been sick, including days you are doing not usually work, such as weekends and bank holidays.
Getting a fit note
If the worker knows they’re likely to be off sick for extended than 7 days, they ought to attempt to get the fit note to their employer on the 7th day of sickness absence.
Doctors cannot provide a fit note before the 7th day of absence.
If there’s a delay getting a fit note, for instance difficulty booking a doctor’s appointment, the worker should contact their employer and explain.
How can I get a fit note?
If you need a fit note, contact your GP surgery. Or if you’re getting hospital treatment, invite one from your hospital doctor.
Your doctor will assess you, and if they decide your health affects your fitness for work, they will issue a fit note and advise either that:
- You are “not fit for work”
- You “may be fit for work taking into account the following advice”
Your doctor will choose the “may be fit work” option if they think that you simply are ready to do some work, albeit it’s not your usual job, with support from your employer.
Discuss this recommendation together with your employer to ascertain if you’ll return to figure. For example, your doctor may suggest possible changes, such as:
- Returning to work gradually, for example, by starting part time
- Temporarily working different hours
- Performing different duties or tasks
- Having other support to do your job. For example, if you’ve got back pain, avoiding work
If your employer is unable to accommodate the changes advised by a doctor, then the fit note is treated as if it said “unfit for work”.
‘Ask Gogodoc About’ is an educational series providing information on various symptoms, pains, disorders and sick notes. (*intended for educational purposes only. If you are in need of sick notes, please reach out to book an online GP consultation with a Gogodoc GP.) Talk to a doctor online at a time that suits you from home with a phone or video appointment. You can easily book an appointment with GP.
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